Paying for Treatment

Below is helpful information regarding what to expect when paying for behavioral health care services.

Paying for Outpatient Treatment

If you have insurance

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP):
    • Many programs bill you when you finish the program; if you can’t pay all at once you can ask about payment plan options before starting treatment
    • Your insurance plan may cover these treatments; the staff will talk to you about your coverage before you start treatment
  • Psychiatrists and therapists:
    • Expect to pay your co-pay at each appointment
    • If your insurance is not accepted you may still get reimbursed from your insurance company if you have Out-of-Network Reimbursement Benefits; call the customer service number on your insurance card to find out if your insurance company will pay you back
    • If your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) you may be able to get a certain number of free sessions with a therapist
    • If you have questions or concerns about payment, you should discuss them with your therapist or psychiatrist
  • Average co-pay costs for outpatient treatment:
    • PHP: approximately $25 – $100 a day
    • IOP: approximately $25 – $80 a day
    • Psychiatrists: approximately $15 – 60 per session
    • Therapists: approximately $10 – $60 per session
    • Support groups: most are free

If you are uninsured

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP):
    • Many programs bill you when you finish the program; if you can’t pay all at once you can ask about payment plan options before starting treatment
    • Ask if the program offers financial assistance
    • Remember to inquire about payment options BEFORE starting treatment
    • The average daily cost can range from $300 – 400 per day without insurance
  • Psychiatrists:
    • Initial evaluations usually cost between $250 – $350 and follow-ups are $100 to $200 for 30- to 60-minute sessions
    • Payment is expected at each appointment
    • Remember to inquire about payment options BEFORE starting treatment
  • Therapists:
    • Some therapists offer sessions at a lower rate called “sliding scale fees”; ask about this when you schedule an appointment
    • In bigger cities there are often non-profit agencies that offer counseling services for the uninsured or underinsured
    • For referrals in Central Texas, contact 211 or a Ascension Seton Behavioral Health Navigator at 512-324-2039
  • Uninsured financial help:
    • If you are uninsured and cannot pay the full fee to see a psychiatrist or therapist, most communities have state or city funded agencies or Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) that may be able to help
    • To find a CMHC, call 211 or search online
    • In some cities, you can find non-profit agencies that offer counseling services
    • Be aware that you may have to go through a screening process and these agencies may have waiting lists
    • These clinics often take Medicare, Medicaid, MAP (Travis County) and marketplace insurance plans
    • For referrals or more information about services in Central Texas, contact 211 or a Ascension Seton Behavioral Health Navigator at 512-324-2039

Paying for Inpatient Treatment

If you have insurance

  • Acute inpatient treatment is often covered or partially covered by insurance, including Medicare; you have the right to know what will be covered and what you will have to pay
  • The hospital or facility will help check your insurance coverage before you are admitted; this is a good time to ask about payment plans
  • Many insurance companies require “pre-certification,” which means that the hospital staff will give your insurance company information about why you need treatment to make sure your hospital stay will be covered
  • Contact customer service at your insurance company to seek answers to the following important treatment questions:
    • What facilities are in-network? What facilities are out-of-network? What is the difference in cost?
    • Are there limits on how long I can be in the hospital or in residential treatment? Are there limits on how often I can be in the hospital or in residential treatment?
    • Am I required to use a facility that is “accredited?” (Accreditation means the treatment facility meets the standards of the accrediting group; you can check to see if the facility is accredited at
      findtreatment.samhsa.gov/locator/home.)
  • Average co-pay:
    • Psychiatric Emergency Room: approximately $100 per visit
    • Acute hospitalization, including detox: approximately $175 – $750 per day (some insurance companies may pay a percentage of the co-pay after you have reached your out of pocket maximum; some may also limit the number of days they will pay for in a year, ranging from five to 30 days)
    • Residential treatment: approximately $175 – $750 per day

If you are uninsured

  • Many communities in Texas have options for financial support or community-based detox programs; in Central Texas OSAR (Outreach, Screening, Assessment and Referral) can be reached by calling 1-877-9-NO-DRUG
  • Some psychiatric hospitals and residential facilities will offer options for financial assistance for the needed treatment
  • Most hospitals or facilities will also have an option for private pay, meaning that you do not have to have or use insurance to cover the costs